Buttermilk Fried Fish & Coleslaw Recipe - Bakesale Betty's Adaptation


I live a few blocks away from the Temescal-Oakland area, a place that I adore very much. It's a cute little street filled with a handful of great restaurants and cafes, as well as some small boutiques. Bakesale Betty's famous fried chicken sandwich resides in Temescal and is the main reason why I frequent the area. If you're driving through, you'll see the one place with a huge line and that's Bakesale Betty. It is something definitely worth standing in line for. The lines are usually out the door, about 12-15 people deep, but they're quick.

Betty's fried chicken is so good and juicy - even for breast meat (which I'm typically not a fan of). The batter is light and crispy, simply seasoned with paprika, salt, and pepper. The slaw is different than most, with a focus of red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil, and parsley. Combine them together and you get one hell of a sandwich.

For dinner, I found Bakesale Betty's fried chicken recipe and thought it was a good experiment to make it with fish instead of chicken. It turned out delicious and it was incredibly simple to make! The slaw and batter that I made tastes identical to my experiences at Bakesale Betty. I decided to omit the bread because I didn't think it was needed.

I look forward to making this again. Here's the recipe with some modifications. 

Buttermilk Fried Fish & Coleslaw Recipe (Bakesale Betty's Adaptation)

Serves 4 people

Recipe adapted from Bakesale Betty on The Chew


For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I like extra olive oil) 

For the Coleslaw:

  • 1 small red onion (sliced very thin)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 jalapeno chiles (sliced thin)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 green cabbage (core and outer leaves removed; sliced very thin)
  • 1 teaspoon salt


For the Fish:

  • 4 wild-caught halibut fillets (about 4-6 oz each)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 quart buttermilk
  • 4 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 quarts avocado oil or vegetable oil for frying


  1. To make the vinaigrette, slowly whisk mustard, red wine vinegar, and salt in medium bowl until well blended. Set aside.
  2. To make the coleslaw, cover sliced onions with red wine vinegar in a small bowl for 5 minutes then drain and discard vinegar. In a large bowl, mix cabbage, parsley, jalapenos, salt and the sliced onions together. Pour in enough vinaigrette to moisten the slaw, combine, taste, and adjust seasoning. 
  3. To make the fried fish, season the fish with some salt. Pour the buttermilk over the fish, cover and let it sit for 45 minutes in fridge. Check on it after 30 minutes to make sure that the fillets are still intact and not breaking (which it shouldn't). You don't want it sitting in there for more than 45 minutes or the fish will break apart. 
  4. Pour avocado oil or vegetable oil into a large pot, filling it no more than halfway. Place the pot on burner over medium heat until temperature of oil is 325 F. THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE IS VERY IMPORTANT.  Get a food thermometer here on Amazon.
  5. In a shallow dish (I used a 9x13 glass baking pan), combine flour, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Remove fish from buttermilk, one at a time, wiping excess buttermilk and place in seasoned flour. Coat the entire fish, shake off excess flour, and dip back into buttermilk. Repeat the flour coating process again to produce a thicker and crunchy coating on fish.  Do this for the rest of your fillets. 
  6. Now we're going to fry the fish in the hot oil using metal tongs. I work on them two at a time so they don't stick to one another. Fry the fish until cooked through, golden and crispy, about 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool a few minutes before serving with coleslaw or making a sandwich. 

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